My husband and I butted heads for years over my decision to be a writer.
Life doesn’t always turn out the way that you thought it would. Whether it is for the good or bad, adulthood and making your dreams a reality are equally difficult.
I vividly remember about a year ago, sitting on the phone with my Dad as I had just gotten an email that a recent article of mine was being published by a huge media outlet. I was beyond excited. His response? A very narrow-minded, “Are you getting paid for that?”
Well, of course I was getting paid for my work — doesn’t everyone? But what hurt the most was the complete overlook of the blood, sweat, and tears that went into pitching this piece of writing, crafting the insightful words, and then turning it in for approval. The end result of a creative's work coming to fruition is held so near and dear that it’s almost more valuable than the payout itself. Almost.
My husband and I butted heads for years over my decision to be a writer, too. My yearning to be my own boss and in control of my own destiny and business hours were so foreign to him that I felt like I was a hostage negotiator on the daily. That battle caused wounds that cut so deep at times I wondered if it was worth it.
Those wounds would almost re-open in an even bigger way whenever I was celebrated for a major accomplishment. It felt cruel to only support me when I was making strides towards my biggest goals. It tore us apart until he finally got it.
Life doesn’t always turn out the way that you thought it would. Whether it is for the good or bad, adulthood and making your dreams a reality are equally difficult. Learning this lesson is a hard one, but even tougher whenever you are carving your own path and feeling constant judgment from the people you love most.
I grew up being extremely close with my family, and still am. But as I grow older, there is a feeling of defense that swells inside of me each time I travel home to Pittsburgh from New York City, where I live with my husband and son, for a holiday or special event. It’s as if I form a thick armor underneath my skin the day before we get there, living in anticipation of the questions heading my way and trying to carefully articulate my responses.
I know the pestering comes from love — doesn’t it always? — and possibly concern, or even a place of simply not being aware of how my industry works.. But either way, it’s harsh, and feels as if they think I’m doing something wrong. They think I’ve chosen the wrong path.
It doesn’t stop there.
They question everything. My life is different from theirs, and warrants explaining that I’m not always mentally prepared for.
Then, they want to celebrate whenever they notice my name in lights.
I can’t shake them and make them understand the highs and lows that I go through. They don't know the battles that we face financially because of having really good months and really bad months are my own. But the rewards that I reap when I get to add to my portfolio, sign a new client, or get to be at home with my son and never, ever miss a school function are truly priceless.
Just like anything else in the world, the struggle is very real. It’s my struggle and I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world. Every day I get to experience my joy, my downfalls, and my life — and no one can really judge unless they have walked my path.